jim miller

ESPN guru Jim Miller appeared on the SI media podcast in an episode published Thursday and offered some details into the upcoming round of layoffs (which will reportedly affect only on-air talent) at the Worldwide Leader.

Asked by SI’s Richard Deitsch about the scope of the layoffs, here’s what Miller had to say:

The way that I’ve heard it—and I’ve kind of run the numbers on it, I think we’re looking at between 40 and 50 people. The numbers that some people reported about $80-90 million were probably ridiculous by a factor of three, but if you think of it in terms of 40-50, I think that’s a safe range based on what I’ve been talking to people about.

And look, there’s a lot of uncertainty about who it’s gonna be and why. Remember, this is not quantum physics, so it’s not an exact equation.

Miller then mapped out what he expects weekdays on ESPN will look like based on deals the network has already made, saying that these personalities can feel safe but that everyone else might need to sweat a bit.

6 a.m. — Re-air of Neil Everett and Stan Verrett’s SportsCenter from the night before
7-10 a.m. — Mike Greenberg’s newly announced show, which, as Miller points out, will feature only one on-air personality
10 a.m.-noon — First Take, presumably still featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim
Noon-1 p.m. — A widely rumored but yet-to-be-unveiled show featuring Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre
1-6 p.m. —”The normal kind of coverage of what they’re doing, and Around the Horn and PTI
p.m. — SC6 with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith
Evening — Live sports
11 p.m. — SportsCenter
Midnight — Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter show
1 a.m. — Everett and Verrett’s SportsCenter show

“If you’re ESPN talent and you’re looking at a schedule that’s something like that, based on the commitments they’ve made, if you’re not on that, then you’re starting to feel a little shaky,” Miller said. “That’s not to say everyone else is gone, but I think those are the people that should take a deep breath, and those are the people that should feel immune.”

Miller then said the ESPN Radio pairing of Mike Golic and Trey Wingo wouldn’t even get a simulcast on ESPN, suggesting that’s evidence ESPN is really playing hardball with big-name talent.

Citing sources at ESPN, Deitsch then said, “If you are part of the SportsCenter unit right now but not one of the special talents where management has tapped on the shoulder and given the golden ticket, if I were one of those people I would be talking to my agent and my representation about how management thinks of me.”

Deitsch and Miller both said ESPN might be amenable to on-air personalities taking dramatic pay-cuts to keep their jobs.

Via SI, here’s the full podcast:

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.